Thursday, February 12, 2009

ABC's of the Word Thursday's

So I've decided to jump in and take on the ABC's of the Word hosted by Pam at Grey Like Snuffie. I first started following along with my friend Liz at Liz's letters, and then met Pam through the Yes to God Study. I thought it was a good way to do some deeper soul searching on the verses God puts out, and a fun challenge. Since Pam is starting again with the letter A, I thought I'd join in.

So here is my "A" verse.

Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and strangers in the world to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. 1Peter 2:11-12.

Have you ever felt that you didn't belong, or like you don't fit in? I know I feel that a lot. It's funny God has been showing me all of these different verses about how I don't belong in this world, and to not follow the ways of the world. In fact it's been almost daily for the last couple weeks. Not just through verses, but sermons at church, on the radio, and even through worship songs. I believe God is revealing these things to me, to comfort me, to know I'm not alone, to strengthen me to keep living this way, and yes that I don't belong to this world I belong to Him.
When I first answered God's call to follow Him, I noticed things changing in my world. The things I thought were okay, suddenly made me feel uncomfortable, I was seeing with new eyes. Now almost 10 years later, I really feel like an alien. Now with my husband and his new life in Christ, we both feel that way. We have many people in our lives that are not Christians, who think we are just weird because of the things we abstain from. Even some of our friends who are Christians find it hard to understand why we won't go see certain movies, or why we don't watch certain TV shows. It's something that God has placed heavily on our hearts.

In the American Heritage Dictionary the word Alien is defined as: Belonging to, characteristic of or constituting another and very different place, society, or person: stranger. Okay that makes sense I want to be seen that I live my life differently.

Then I looked up Abstain: To refrain from something by one's own choice. This told me that I have a choice to follow what pleases God or what pleases the world. I choose what pleases God.

It's not always easy, many times in a work situation, my husband and I have to hold our tongues as to things said. We sometimes can't even partake in a regular conversation, because we don't have a clue to what they are talking about, and this can be hard and sometimes tempting to crossover to the worlds ways. Through this last year with the election and the battle of Proposition 8 we heard many views from both non believers and believers. People asked us alot our opinions who and how we were voting and why we were voting that way. We prayed a lot for guidance and sought the scriptures, and cast our ballots. We prayed for guidance on how to share with people in love why we voted the way we did. I think this year especially have I felt what Peter said "Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. And we feel it more and more. That's okay though we look to the Lord for our guidance, we are more concerned about pleasing the Lord than people.

We know that the Holy Spirit has guided us towards the things we need to abstain from and those things that can harm us or make us fall. We support each other in that, we teach our daughter those things. Most importantly we feel at peace with it.

We laugh because we have a really big Not of the World decal on the back window of our car. Some people who have seen it have even asked us well what world are you from, are you aliens. So I guess the correct answer is yes.

My pastor this past Sunday asked what was defining our view of Jesus. Were we looking at Him as a way to get the things we want, have we let the culture we live in define who He is and how we believe. Or are we looking to the scriptures, and what Jesus himself told us who He is. Something I've been pondering over all week.

So while I might not fit in at the company party, or people might think I'm to conservative in my thinking, or intolerant, I hope they also see that I live with Hope, and Joy. I know someday I will fit in, I'll be at home when I'm sitting at my saviors feet.



Sue said...

Hi Carol,
As I was about to go to bed, a little later than I had planned, the phone rang, and it was the recording letting us know school is closed tomorrow. We are expecting to get 4 to 8 inches of snow, and it's not supposed to start until 9 a.m. I'm glad they decided to be safe and cancel. I thought they'd wait until the morning, though.

I love this post you wrote. I feel that way, too. I take my lunch the same time a couple women, who are buddies, and sometimes have foul conversations do. We are in the same room, but I sit at a different table and bury myself in what I'm reading, or blog reading on my iphone. One of them laughingly apologized for something she'd said today, and I told her I hadn't heard her, and I hadn't.

I sometimes will get involved in their conversations, though, but you are right about the feeling of not belonging.

Now that I'm in the process of finding a new church, I thought I'd found a good place, but this church seems to have a weird stance on homosexuality, that I kept falling asleep while reading what I found on the internet.

It is so clear that it is a sin to act on it. I don't know why they have so many pages of wishing and washing around. I thought this may be a place I could fit in, but now, I'm wondering about it. I shouldn't assume you agree with me on this, but from your post, I'm assuming you have a biblical view on this. We can love the sinner without condoning their lifestyle.

I better send this off before it gets even longer.


grey like snuffie said...

Thanks for joining in Carol. God really has used this weekly stirring up of His Words to encourage me so greatly. You really did a great job sharing your thoughts. I am so spoiled and protected as I don't work yet I know it is what my husband faces every day.

Tealady said...

Hi Carol, I'm a newbie this week, too. I had been following along as the group got near the end of the alphabet and couldn't wait to get started with "A."

Thanks for your thoughtful post about "aliens" and "abstaining." It reminded me that we are to be in the world but not of it -- a people set apart. Lots of food for thought!

Mercy, peace and grace to you, Lana

Peggy said...

Blessings Carol...I thought I visited everyone yesterday, sorry I missed yours! Definitely unique choice: ALIENS...however ABSTAIN is one that is more familiar. I so appreciated that you broke this down and personalized it as to what God has called us to be set apart!
It's wonderful when we can share with our life partner the same goal & know where we BELONG! May others take note of the difference He makes in our lives! Great insights!

Welcome ABOARD the ABC fun!

Judith said...

Hi Carol - Thank you for visiting and commenting on my post.

My role is a Workplace and Community Chaplain and often I find myself in situations or in the middle of conversations that I am not comfortable with. At first I would just be quiet and go home with the conversation still in my mind now, if appropriate, I will excuse myself. This hit home for me the other week at school whilst visiting the teachers and I excused myself from a conversation and the teacher replied 'well I would have expected this of you..' sometimes folks are testing us on our standards...

Take care Judith

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol,

So glad you are joining in on the ABC's. I love your A's.

My son and his family also live in California. They are in San Diego.

Thank you for stopping by my blog.

sailorcross said...

Hi Carol!!

I'm a little late in stopping by, but I wanted to make sure to visit.

Alien--abstain--two "A's" together in the same verse.

I know what you mean about not watching certain movies, TV shows, joining in on certain conversations. I'm in the same boat at my workplace.

I just usually avoid the issue. And I once told people I work with that if something important is happening that I need to know about--would someone please call me and tell me to turn on the television.


Liz said...

Hi Carol,
I am a little late making blog rounds, birthdays and Valentines have kept me moving!
I am so glad that you have joined ABC of the Word Thursdays! It will be such fun to see how God is using His Word in your life. I love your A post, and know well what you are talking about.
I supervise a department of women, all from very diverse backgrounds. And few of my coworkers are Believers. Day to day, I pray that God's love will be manifested in my life and at the same time not be so alien that I alienate myself and become someone to avoid. It is quite a balancing act, but God is good.
Thank you for the great post!